August 3, 2021 3:31 AM

Functional Interface Vs. Pretty UI: How to Determine the True Value of MDM


Master Data Management (MDM) is a core, ideal solution for a data-driven company. MDM can help you operate efficiently, gain process agility, and improve business outcomes. But first, your business users must select a technology platform.

Many people tend to perceive an attractive user interface (UI) as more usable. But a visually appealing design can mask deeper problems, often left undiscovered until it's too late.

So, do products that look better actually work better?

To put this debate to rest, we set out to evaluate a highly functional MDM platform versus a beautiful, and albeit less utilitarian, interface.

It's Got a 'Great Color Scheme' — But What's Under the Surface?

We often speak with companies that have used other MDM or Product Information Management (PIM) platforms, and they hit a functionality wall. They were attracted by a “great look and feel” — but functionality didn’t pan out. As it turns out, you need more than a pretty UI to empower your users.

For example, if the core function of your commerce business is the product content you publish, then make sure the interface supports all your content requirements, and not distracts you from it.

A B2B wholesaler recently experienced this when using one of our competitor’s PIM product. Posting a review online, they stated:

"The system doesn't do 80% of what we were promised when sold the platform as a solid PIM/PXM option to interface and feed our BigCommerce platform. If you use product families, variants, custom attributes, or anything outside of a VERY vanilla B2C feature set with extremely well-defined endpoints that happen to align with the stock fields, this software is not for you... Frankly, this software has CAUSED more problems and issues for us than it has solved. "

And a user of another PIM platform had a similar experience, noting:

“Expensive, lack of usability, developers needed, hard to get data in and out, not worth investment."

Clearly, these users felt oversold and under-supported.

How can you avoid this frustration? Look for an interface, like Riversand MDM, that's engineered for humans and the complex needs of your business.

Productivity Beats ‘Bells and Whistles’

Let’s remember there is a difference between UI and user experience (UX), and that the perception gap is largely based on the perceived satisfaction when using a technology product.

UX covers the whole lifecycle of the usage and function of the solution. One that gets the task done effectively and satisfactorily.

Amazon, for example, attracts 183 million unique visitors each month. Would you consider their site to be beautiful to behold? Or ruthlessly and efficiently designed (and refined ad infinitum) to get the job done?

Predictive product placement, easy search cues, product reviews, one-click checkout, and seamless processing make the customer experience a breeze for newbie and veteran shoppers alike.

Their secret? A highly functional interface.

And it's that functionality — not the site's visual bells and whistles — that makes it one of the biggest and most popular e-commerce platforms in the world.

Riversand takes this same concept of user experience and applies it to our product interface, hitting the mark on both usability and productivity.

One of Riversand’s customers, a retail executive, noted:

“Riversand's cloud-based solution for master data management is very flexible, scalable, and intuitive to use. The out-of-the-box ability to tailor user roles, business rules, and workflows to meet our needs is powerful. They are a great team to work with, are well-grounded in the principles of MDM, and continue to add value in improving our business processes.

Our powerful platform interface empowers users with:

  • Actionable insights & dashboards: One of Riversand’s coolest capabilities is bringing insights — in the tools where you already spend your time — through embedded analytics. Analytics provides businesses a priceless tool to convert data into actionable information: whether it is helping a distributor pick the next best site to create a hub, helping a manufacturer on which variant of their product to manufacture more, or telling a retailer which product families and variants need a speedier deployment to the store.
  • Dynamic workflows: Our users love the satisfaction of putting their data to work on every side of their business. Efficient, high-value data workflows mean tighter feedback loops, learning, and insights on models, and accelerating the value organizations derive. It's a complete experience that helps you automate processes and get from A to B to C faster than ever.
  • Channel previews: Want to see exactly how your product and content will look on Amazon? Simply open our preview feature to view precisely how it will look in the channel of your choice.

These use cases show how Riversand's MDM interface helps you work smarter and faster — with a quick time to value.

A Future Proof Platform You Can Depend On

Even if the interface meets your needs today, it's guaranteed that those needs will change. Whether you're responding to emerging business opportunities post-COVID-19, or seizing an opportunity to expand — you'll need a strong data foundation to keep moving ahead.

Keep the following 'must haves' in mind.

  • Configurability: Riversand MDM is a versatile, cloud-native platform that's highly configurable. There's no problem you'll need to solve that we haven't seen before.
  • Scalability: Our customers can switch to Riversand once and scale as needed — instead of having to rip-and-replace (at a higher cost). According to a Riversand MDM user, “The best feature of the Riversand Platform is with the flexibility of their design that allows you to make continuous changes within their platform while also allowing the ability to add on extended capabilities at a rapid pace.”
  • Roadmap: Riversand supports our MDM and PIM products with an aggressive roadmap, driven by experts who know the technology and market best.
  • Unlimited growth: Offering apps is another way we help future proof your business. Leverage the Riversand App Marketplace or build your own apps to grow, scale, and get even more ROI.
  • Training and enablement: It's critical to pay attention to the resources that, in many cases, can make or break your success with MDM or PIM. That's why Riversand offers a full spectrum of training, embedded help, onboarding, and enablement to ensure your users adopt the platform with ease. As Riversand MDM user Pinny F. describes, “Implementation was fast and efficient, and they worked closely with us and the partner to makes sure that there was a detailed plan. Riversand provided great training modules to get the team up to speed quickly and manage it independently.”

We've heard from our customers that these are the things that make a difference when the stakes are high.

Navigating Your Options

While the MDM/PIM market today is extremely accessible, navigating the options isn't always easy. A pretty UI may catch your eye — but be sure to ask the tough questions so you don't end up with a platform that can't solve your problems.

Look for a modern and intuitive platform that's simple to configure, provides advanced functionality, and includes support and enablement from a proven provider. To learn more about why Riversand, a Syndigo Company is the clear choice, request a demo or contact us today!

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